Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has begun a shock move to sign Neymar Jr., 26, as the replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, 32, when he leaves the Estadio de Santiago Bernabeu.
The astonishing claims are made by Mundo Deportivo, who believe negotiations have already begun between the club and an intermediary. Wagner Ribeiro is that man, the report states, and alleges that he is part of Neymar Jr’s inner circle.
Perez thought he had landed the Brazilian maestro in 2013 when he decided to leave Santos but controversially, Barcelona stole him from under Los Blancos noses. Having seen his performances for the Blaugrana at first hand, the Real president knows Neymar has the talent to succeed Ronaldo when he departs.
Having manufactured a move out of the Camp Nou for a world-record fee of €222m, no-one is under-estimating the ability of Neymar and his camp to engineer a move to the Bernabeu, if he so desires.
For a club which still feels aggrieved about his move to Paris St Germain, Barcelona might consider a move to Real Madrid the ultimate betrayal, topping even that of Luis Figo. For Neymar Jr, it is a delicious opportunity for revenge on a club which began legal action to recover bonuses paid under his contract at the Camp Nou.
Last summer proved that while this move seems highly unlikely, you can never say never about anything in modern football.